The Fall of the Confederate Government (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)
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On May 10, 1865 Jefferson Davis was caught by Federal troops. It was not until he was in jail that he decided the war must really be over. In this second volume of his memoirs, Davis discusses the specifics of that war, offering his own vantage point of the brutal conflict in hopes that everyone else would come to see it his way.
During the war, Davis faced enormous problems: state governors who didn’t want to answer to a central government and generals who didn’t trust his military judgment. Under his leadership, the conduct of the war was fraught with disagreements, distractions, and questionable choices. Discussing in detail other important civilian leaders and generals on both sides, Davis attempts to deflect the charges of personal failure. He depicts the North as a savage aggressor, to which the South stands in both military and moral opposition.
The following note was sent to the Brazilian chargé d'affaires by Seward: While awaiting the representations of the Brazilian Government, on the 28th of November she [the Florida] sank, owing to a leak, which could not be seasonably stopped. The leak was at first represented to have been caused, or at least increased, by collision with a war-transport. Orders were immediately given to ascertain the manner and circumstances of the occurrence. It seemed to affect the army and navy. A naval court
permission to bury those of his dead not alread interred. General Jackson remained in position during the day, and at night returned to the vicinity of Gordonsville. In this engagement four hundred prisoners, including a brigadier general, were captured, and five thousand three hundred stand of small arms, one piece of artillery, several caissons, and three colors, fell into our hands. Our killed were 229, wounded 1,047, total 1,276. The loss on the other side exceeded one thousand five hundred,
management of the question of exchange with the Confederate authorities, to put the matter offensively, for the purpose of preventing an exchange. The signification of the word "offensively," in the preceding line, relates to the exchange of negro soldiers. The government of the United States contented that the slaves in their ranks were such no longer; that it was bound to accord to them, when made prisoners, the same protection that it gave all other soldiers. We asserted the slaves to be
were only those of subjugation. When General Buckner, on February 16, 1862, asked of General Grant to appoint commissioners to agree upon terms of capitulation, he replied: No terms, except unconditional and immediate surrender, can be accepted. When General Lee asked the same question, on April 9, 1865, General Grant replied: The terms upon which peace can be had are well understood. By the South laying down their arms, they will hasten that most desirable event, save thousands of human
cut off the supplies of Lee's army and compel the evacuation of both Petersburg and Richmond. Had there been approximate equality between his army and that of Lee, he could not wisely have ventured upon the latter movement against a soldier so able as his antagonist; the vast numerical superiority of Grant's army might well have induced him to invite Lee to meet him in the open field. He did, however, neither the one nor the other, but something of both. In the opening of the campaign of 1865 he